Juggling Writing and Being a Mom
It's a tough gig, it really is. But I certainly would not pick one over the other. As a writer, I feel I have so much more depth and ability to relate to things on every aspect than when I was childless. Believe me, I remember being 18 and feeling things very deeply and spending hours just thinking about everything. I had strong opinions about the world, but I was poor at relating to others. I could not see past the issues which had molded me from birth and all the miserable years of school, etc. Basically the world was black and white with no gray, which is sad, because much of the world rests in that in between realm of gray.
So that's one aspect of being a parent/writer . . . the emotional aspect of it. The other aspect is about how one deals with their time, or more importantly other people's needs for their time. Kids do not understand the idea of Mommy needing to work. They don't know what it is to edit the first chapter fifty times or write ten synopses, or labor over a query letter that goes from long to short to long in one day and just when you think it is prefect, you send it off only to find obvious spacing issues. They don't understand that while you're swinging them outside under the evening trees, you're writing your next book and dreaming away, wishing you had a computer in front of you so that none of it becomes lost with distraction.
Again, I would not trade one for the other. However, I was going to wait to start writing my first book when both kids were in school. That way I wouldn't have to worry about interruptions or having to stay up all night while they are asleep to get it all done. But this book wrote itself in many ways. I had no choice but to start now. I'll take the all nighters and interruptions because it is such a beautiful process, much like creating a child. I truly love my characters and the whole story line. Many times while editing, I have found myself just stopping and reading away, enjoying myself and marveling at some of the things I had written. Of course, other times I have had to stop and correct stupid little mistakes and bad passages that should never have left my fingertips. All of it while knowing that one day my kids will discover it, read it, and hopefully become inspired to write their own books.
So, even though a parent feels tons of guilt for letting their kids watch the same dvd over and over just so that they can finish their book, it is done with a certain goal in mind. And that is to create something good, and leave a legacy that will last beyond any moments of guilt and boredom and stress.
In the end, I'm lucky to have my beautiful kids and any sort of talent at all that leads to writing or art or music. Yep, I'm very lucky indeed.